Day: May 16, 2019

Application by Tori Stafford’s killer objecting prison transfer retracted: lawyers

An application objecting the transfer of a woman currently serving a life sentence for her part in the killing of Woodstock, Ont. girl Tori Stafford from a healing lodge back to a medium security prison has been retracted, her lawyers said.

The application, filed by convicted killer Terri Lynne McClintic, disputed her transfer from a healing lodge in Saskatchewan to the Edmonton Institution for Women on Nov. 8, 2018.

She was brought to the healing lodge in December 2017, which sparked public outcry, after spending four years at the Grand Valley Institution for Women near Kitchener.

The 28-year-old is currently at the women’s prison near Kitchener.

The application, submitted on April 30, said McClintic “experienced a loss of residual liberty as a consequence of being transferred from the lodge.”

On Wednesday, McClintic’s lawyers said the application was “discontinued” on May 10.

“The application was for a review of the legality of McClintic’s transfer and it’s compliance with applicable legislation and rules,” Kelsey Sitar and Sarah Rankin wrote in an email sent to CP24. “The application is no longer active.”

McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder for her part in the murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.

The young girl was lured from her school in Woodstock, Ont. back in 2009 and then driven to a field where she was sexually assaulted and killed.

Michael Rafferty, McClintic’s former boyfriend, was convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in the case back in 2012. He is also serving a life sentence.

At the time of McClintic’s transfer back to a medium security prison, Tori Stafford’s father, Rodney Stafford, said he felt “ecstatic” about the decision.

“It’s a great feeling to know that justice is going to be served,” he said.

After hearing McClintic was challenging the transfer, he said his daughter’s killer doesn’t deserve anything.

“Every one of us in my family lost our lives when we lost Victoria,” he said. “We lost Victoria, we lost our rights, we lost a lot of things so her claiming that she has lost her liberty is kind of heartbreaking.”

“My family doesn’t deserve this – we have suffered enough.”

Before the application was retracted, the court reviewed it and recognized “potential issues,” including if an Alberta court has jurisdiction to hear the application and if the application was supported by evidence.

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By The Wall of Law May 16, 2019 Off

Unconditional support for Israel is unconditional support for injustice

Sheryl Nestel
Counter-protest against UJA Walk for Israel, 2018. Photo credit: Raghd Hamzeh

On Monday, May 20, members of the Toronto Jewish community will participate in the United Jewish Appeal’s annual Walk with Israel, which is taking place in the Bathurst and Wilson area. Independent Jewish Voices Canada, a national organization which advocates for human rights and peace with justice in Israel-Palestine, will once again be present with allies from other groups to demonstrate that the Jewish community in Canada is not unified in its attitudes towards the state of Israel.

Indeed, like tens of thousands of Jews worldwide, we oppose Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and its regime of violence, intimidation and incarceration aimed at the Palestinian population of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. We challenge those who offer unconditional support for Israel to ask themselves if they would support the same violations of human rights and international law anywhere else in the world. We affirm that our criticism of Israel comes from an embrace of both Jewish and universal humanitarian values and has no relation whatsoever to antisemitism.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting a government that makes common cause with racist and supremacist groups within Israel, and authoritarian and xenophobic governments around the world, including those in Hungary, the Philippines, India and Brazil.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting Israel’s $9-billion arms industry which assists authoritarian governments and repressive police and armies around the world.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting racist policies in Israel which have incarcerated or expelled asylum seekers, many from African nations.

Unconditional support for Israel means approval for shocking acts of settler violence, many of which go unpunished, against Palestinians and their property.

Unconditional support for Israel means support for the killing of over 200 and maiming of almost 30,000 Palestinians in response to the Great March of Return.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting the system of legal discrimination inside Israel which includes more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel, among them the nation-state law that says that only Jews are entitled to the right to self-determination, ignoring the rights of the 21 per cent of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian Arabs.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of approximately 500 to 700 Palestinian children every year, with 205 Palestinian minors currently in custody.

Unconditional support for Israel means support for roadblocks that keep Palestinians from accessing hospitals, schools, workplaces and holy sites.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting policies which keep 1.6 million Palestinians, including 68 per cent of the population of Gaza, from having the financial means to access nutritious food.

Unconditional support for Israel means supporting Jewish communal efforts to shut down freedom of expression on violations of human rights in Israel-Palestine and the granting of lavish funding to groups which celebrate Israel while ignoring, denying or excusing decades of colonial policies and violations of international and human rights law.

We will continue to protest at the Walk for Israel until justice for Palestine is a reality. Unconditional support for Israel is unconditional support for injustice.

We urge you to come out on Monday, May 20 in Toronto to demonstrate your commitment to justice for Palestine and to show that an increasing number of Jews do not support Israeli violence and dispossession. We will meet at 9:45 a.m. at the southeast corner of Bathurst and Wilson. We will stand in solidarity with one another and with the Palestinian people.

Sheryl Nestel is a member of the national steering committee of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

Photo credit: Raghd Hamzeh

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By The Wall of Law May 16, 2019 Off